In news that will excite (one way or another) a few hundred beer fundamentalists and be met with a shrug by everyone else, CAMRA – The Campaign for Real Ale – have announced that they have, for the first time, accredited a canned beer.
This is a vaguely big deal in the beer world, as canned beer has long been seen as second only to keg beer as the Devil’s handiwork by CAMRA officials and members. So for a canned beer to pass their self-made guidelines as to what qualifies as ‘real’ is revolutionary stuff.
Examination by the CAMRA ‘quality control lab’ (probably not a real lab) at the Great British Beer Festival found live yeast and natural secondary fermentation in the cans from Moor Beer Company – no, no, wake up, this is important stuff! These are the requirements of CAMRA’s definition of ‘real ale’, and were considered beyond the pale (ale) for cans in the past, s everyone is jolly thrilled.
And, you know, well done to Moor Beer Company for pulling this off. After all, canning is actually better for the beer than bottling (it keeps all the light out, for instance), and CAMRA accreditation is clearly something that some brewers still think is important – why else would Moor Beer go through all the research hassles of working out how to make a CAMRA-approved can?
Of course, there are the doubters. If there is one thing that CAMRA members don’t like, it’s anything newfangled, be it a poncey bar or a new method of dispense, and so I imagine these cans will continue to be seen as some sort of witchcraft for a while yet.
In a world where craft beer is widely available, of course, such hangups on method of dispense feel increasingly archaic. For most of us – whether it is cask or keg, bottled or canned, fizzy or flat, there is only one question – does it taste good? And that will be my only concern with Moor Beer’s products.